A New Home For Old Trees

I attended a local garage sale at the weekend because I had noticed that they were selling off some bonsai pots and tools. When I arrived I was surprised at the number of pots they had in their garage. I also noticed some bonsai trees sitting on a wall in the garden. I enquired about them and discovered that they formed part of the collection of the co-owner of the property, who had died a few years previously. The trees were clearly good quality specimens that had suffered in recent times due to a lack of maintenance. I asked if they would consider selling them to me, which they agreed to do.

Here are a few pictures of the trees as they arrived in my garden.

A Chinese Juniper 70 cm tall, its suffered considerable dieback in the foliage but I am hopeful I can revive it.


A cascading Scots Pine, 40cm above the pot rim. It too has suffered considerable die back but these are tough trees and I’m confident I can restore its vigour.


A large Japanese beech over a metre tall with a terrific nebari in a Derek Aspinall pot with a width of 80cm. Again it has suffered the loss of a few branches but nothing that can’t be replaced. If anyone recognises this tree I would be interested to find out more about its history.)



I’m really looking forward to working on these trees and seeing how they develop in the future

Here is a picture of the pots I acquired


Tall Scots Pine 2nd Styling

Over our last 2 “get together” sessions, Gerry and I have been busy styling his tall scots pine.

This cultivar of pinus sylvestris, which I think is either beuvronensis or watereri has a good nebari, excellent movement in the trunk and a good dark green foliage colour. The trunk is relatively thin for its height.

Last year Gerry took this tree to a Marc Noelanders workshop to get some advice on how to take it forward. I took the first 2 pictures at the workshop last year, unfortunately I didn’t get a picture before and immediately after this work.



This is how the tree looked earlier this year when it was re-potted.


Today we completed the work in beautiful autumn sunshine.


Halfway through the process.


Work completed for now.This is how the tree is looking at the moment.



Shohin Scots Pine First Styling

A friend gave me a number of these little pines a year or 2 ago. I potted them all up but have done very little to them since. Today I decided that I would try to compress this one down to shohin size.

This is how it looked this morning before I started.


And this is how it looks at the moment,


I may put it back in the ground to thicken the trunk a little more, when the bends have set.

Pinus Sylvestris First Styling

I acquired this scots pine in April 2010. I liked the movement in the trunk and thought that it could make a nice literati at some time in the future.

This is how it looked in 2010 (Apologies for the poor quality of the picture)


In 2011, I opened up the foliage and re-planted it into this unglazed Japanese pot


In the winter of 2012 it fell off the bench and the pot was smashed. I quickly re-housed it in the pot you can see in the next picture and changed the angle of the trunk to a more upright position.


It received its first full wiring today and this is how it looks at the moment. I like this tree very much. As the foliage develops and the ramification gets tighter I think it will mature into a nice bunjin style pine.


Re-potting My Literati Pines

These 2 Scots Pines were  given their first styling in the literati style towards the end of last season and about 1 week ago, I decided that it was time to reduce the roots slightly and re-pot them as the new seasons candles were extending but were not yet fully open.

The first one is quite an old tree with very rugged bark and this is how it looked before this most recent work


This is a reminder of how it looked last season before the initial styling


This is the pot it will be housed in for the next few years. A ceramic drum pot by Scottish potter Ian Baillie


It is quite slow growing and has been in this mica training pot for about 12 years. Now that it is out of the pot I can see that it has a very dense network of fine roots, which will have to be reduced slightly to make it fit in the new pot.


Job done for the moment. This will not be the final pot for this tree, ultimately I would like to get it into something a little smaller but this size will be useful during its’ continued development.


The second tree, which requires a change of planting angle, has been in its current pot for four years. In that time it has grown vigorously and filled the pot with roots. It requires some substantial pruning of thick roots to accommodate the new planting angle.


For the moment I have re-potted it in the training pot that housed the previous tree.


This is a reminder of how it looked last year before the initial styling.